“He always accuses me of trying to look ‘cool’, I was like, ‘everybody tries to look cool, I just happen to be successful.”
― Daniel Clowes, Ghost World (Goodreads)Goodreads
Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is miche, which means, “to lurk out of sight.” The Internet has made it possible for millions of people to miche.
Today is Look Up At the Sky Day. Some people never look up. I like to. The sky is frequently quite beautiful, especially at night, if I’m in a place with little to no light pollution.
Our Anchor prayer gathering went pretty well, last night. There were five of us there (actually one more than I expected, so that’s a plus), and I think we had some good prayer. We began by praying for each other, then moved on to some more general topics about us as the church. It was a good time, I think.
Today is Thursday, and none of us has anything planned for tonight. The Rangers lost to the Mariners, yesterday afternoon, 4-2, in extra innings. It was game three of the series, and the Rangers won the series 2-1. In fact, the Mariners have only won three games, so far, and all have been against the Rangers. The Red Sox hung on to finally snap the winning streak of the Orioles. They had gotten up to 7-0 (the record was of 13-0 to begin the season was held by two different teams, the 1982 Atlanta Braves and the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers), but the Sox brought that to an end, winning 4-2. Today, the Sox play the Blue Jays in Boston, and the Rangers play the Orioles in Texas. Ironically, the 2016 Atlanta Braves are 0-8, so far.
(From Praying With the Psalms)
“Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds.
For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.
“If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine.
Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High,
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
God has no need for any of the physical things that we bring to him. He doesn’t even need our money. The churches and ministries that we support do, but God, himself, needs nothing from us. “The cattle on a thousand hills” belong to him. “What he cares about are our attitudes and behavior, our glad spirits of praise to him and our generosity to others.”
“Father, you know how easy it is for me to substitute an exterior religious performance for an interior spiritual concern. How hollow and empty it must look to you! Help me to shape my words and acts today in the way you shaped yours toward me in Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.”
(From My Utmost For His Highest)
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me.
Have you ever stopped to consider what our complaining must sound like to God? Especially when he is bringing us to a place where we can have the most intimate communion with him! Jesus invites us to take up one end of the yoke (Dallas Willard calls this the “easy yoke”) and pull alongside him. What we don’t realize until we finally accept this invitation is that he pulls most of the load with his strength!
“God comes and takes us out of our sentimentality, and our complaining turns into a paean of praise.” (“Paean” means “a song of praise or triumph.”) The only way we can fully know God’s strength is to accept Jesus’s invitation and take his yoke upon us and learn from him.
Have you seen a joyful saint? Do not think that there is no burden there! “The fact that the peace and the light and the joy of God are there is proof that the burden is there too.” I’ll tell you who is the most joyful saint I have seen in many years. My mother. I have seen such joy in the midst of such burden in the past year. The joy is there because she has shared the yoke with Jesus, and she knows the infinite strength of God.
Father, I thank you for the strength that you give when once we take on your “easy yoke.” I pray that you keep drawing me into this place of intimate communion with you. I know that there will be struggles, and I know that, at the most inopportune times, temptation will come, sin will threaten. I may even give in. But, by your grace, you will draw me back into yourself and keep moving me forward. Help me to walk in your Kingdom today. Help me to deal with everyone in the presence of Jesus Christ.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.